Velma Dobson Ph.D.

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Velma Dobson, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Science and Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona, died April 9, 2010 following complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Dr. Dobson was an internationally known scientist who studied the development of human vision. Her early work established techniques to measure infant visual acuity. These techniques were used to identify infants with poor vision and to show that treatments for retinopathy of prematurity were effective. More recently, Dr. Dobson was central in a partnership between The University of Arizona and the Tohono O'odham Nation that resulted in groundbreaking research on astigmatism and effectiveness of treatment of astigmatism-related amblyopia. Her honors include being named a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, an honorary member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, an honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Glenn A. Fry Medal in Physiological Optics. She was active in the community, having served as a board member and chairperson of Our Town Family Services and as an active member of the Lions Club, and was an avid hiker, runner, and traveller. She will be remembered for her remarkable energy, generosity, openness, uncompromising integrity, keen intellect, and courage. Dr. Dobson is survived by her husband, Patrick Burke, M.D., Ph.D., a noted Child Psychiatrist and former UA faculty member; her son, Andrew Burke, M.D., a graduate of the UA College of Medicine and resident in Diagnostic Radiology at Oregon Health and Science University; her daughter, Meg Burke, B.A., a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics education at Arizona State University; her brother, James Dobson, J.D., M.S., and family of Indianapolis, IN; and her brother, Joel Dobson, M.B.A., and family of Mount Pleasant, SC. There will be a Memorial Service at the East Lawn Palms Cemetery, 5801 East Grant Road, Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Apr. 13, 2010
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